Experiences that inspire hope: Perspectives of suicidal patients


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SAGE Publications

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Background: Suffering in a suicidal crisis includes feelings such as despair, loneliness, anxiety, fear, shame, guilt and hopelessness. This study highlights the experiences of patients in the aftermath of suicide attempts. The research question was, what do suicidal patients see as meaningful help in care and treatment situations? Methodology: The methodology is inspired by Gadamer’s hermeneutics, where the parts are understood in light of the whole, and the whole is understood in light of the parts. Qualitative interviews were employed. Participants and research context: A total of 10 persons, 4 women and 6 men 21–52 years old, were informed and asked to participate by specialists in psychology at two emergency psychiatric wards and by one crisis resolution team. Nine of the participants had experienced one or more suicide attempts using drugs and alcohol. Forced hospitalization prevented one of the 10 participants from attempting suicide. Ethical considerations: Before the participants signed an informed consent form, the interviewer met all participants to provide the written information, talking about the interview. A meeting to terminate contact was arranged after the participants had read their own interviews. Findings: Three themes were generated by the methodology we applied: (1) experiencing hope through encounters, (2) experiencing hope through the atmosphere of wisdom and (3) experiencing a ray of hope from taking back responsibility. Discussion: The findings are discussed in the light of Eriksson’s suffering theory and Lindstro ̈ m’s theory about psychiatric care, as well as earlier research and theories about suicidality. Conclusion: The study reinforces possibilities that hope in suicidal patients can be inspired in encounters with healthcare personnel and within caring cultures. Through dialogue and cooperation, patients’ safety and ability to cope with suffering is created and thereby the hope and will to struggle for life.




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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/4725